The Clash – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
In acknowledging his frustrations for a lack of cooperation in White Riot, Strummer’s Hammersmith seems to show him accepting the fact that what he wants cannot be, and casting blame onto a certain suited and booted rock band, the British public and punk rockers.
Danny Nedelko – IDLES
You could say that Danny Nedelko is exactly what The Clash wanted: a unification of people that are not all that different. In a reply to Strummer’s defeat, four decades on, they said: ‘my best friend is an immigrant’. While punk has made progress in discussing these issues, society fails to do so; same intolerance, different target.
– Callum Gray
XTC – Making Plans for Nigel
The flagship single of the Swindon new-wave act, Making Plans for Nigel, captures the struggle of Britain’s disenchanted youth during the social and economic turmoil of the late 1970s. At its heart is the struggle of choosing career paths; the dichotomy between family honour and the alienation of heavy industry.
Nena – 99 Luftballoons
One of the defining anthems of the Cold War, 99 Luftballoons takes a rather humorous look at the volatility between West and East German relations, the looming threat of a possible World War III, and establishes the role pop music has in such tumultuous times.
– Lewis Oxley
Thee Concerned Citizens – Deft Left
The opening track of the band’s solitary, pre-2015 General Election album Solution Songs, is a version of a Thee Faction favourite and a pretty stirring call to arms. Chris T-T, who visited UEA for a panel discussion on the power of music for change last year, extols the fun virtues of the left-wing over a tight, peppy backing.
The Granite Shore – There’s Always One
The second LP from Nick Halliwell’s Exeter-based band was Suspended Second, a concept album dealing with the group’s reaction to Brexit and its immediate aftermath. The dominating themes are anxiety and pity, with a very faint optimistic undertone. This album is no different, despite its use of metaphor, one lyric states: ‘We swore to pull together, but there’s always one’.
– Tony Allen